20 percent of recovered COVID-19 patients diagnosed with mental illness within 3 months

Keydra Manns
·3 min read

COVID-19 could be linked to dementia, insomnia and anxiety according to a study

COVID-19 has greater side effects than we once thought.

A recent study revealed that folks who have been diagnosed with the virus and recovered later suffered from mental health issues. The findings were made in a study published Monday by The Lancet Psychiatry Journal.

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“Survivors of COVID-19 appear to be at increased risk of psychiatric sequelae, and a psychiatric diagnosis might be an independent risk factor for COVID-19. Although preliminary, our findings have implications for clinical services, and prospective cohort studies are warranted.”

COVID-19 ICU
CHARLEROI, BELGIUM – NOVEMBER 05: A man is tested for Covid-19 in the basement of the University Hospital of Charleroi on November 5, 2020 in Charleroi, Belgium. On October 28, the Charleroi University Hospital opened a space for critical Covid-19 patients as well as an underground drive-in testing centre. The facility was set up in four days by ISPPC technical teams, in the staff parking lot of the Marie Curie Hospital. For the first time in two months, the number of people hospitalized for Coronavirus in Belgium has dropped slightly, from 7,487 to 7,405. (Photo by Jean-Christophe Guillaume/Getty Images)

The study surveyed a whopping 62,354 patients who contracted the virus between January 20 and August 1. They found 20% of those people within 14 to 90 days of testing positive for the virus were later diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as dementia, insomnia, or anxiety.

“People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings … show this to be likely,” one of the study’s authors, Paul Harrison, told Today. “[Health] services need to be ready to provide care, especially since our results are likely to be underestimates.”

There are currently 10.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of today, per The New York Times.

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The report also says those who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder within the last year leading up to pandemic are 65 % more likely to contract the virus.  

“As COVID-19 sample sizes and survival times increase, it will be possible to refine these findings and to identify rarer and delayed psychiatric presentations,” per the study. “Prospective cohort studies and inclusive case registers will be valuable to complement electronic health record analyses. It will also be important to explore additional risk factors for contracting COVID-19, and for developing psychiatric disorders thereafter, as some elements might prove to be modifiable.”

The study also mentioned that a smaller Korean study found links between COVID-19 and schizophrenia only.

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